Helpful Household Items That May 
Pose Danger to Our Four-Footed Friends 

Dogs and cats are curious, hungry and low to the ground and our mischievous friends enjoy nothing more than getting right in the thick of things. Some basic household items, while helpful to us, can be dangerous poisons to our furry friends. Keep this in mind while your pet is exercising his/her natural inquisitiveness:

  • Acetaminophen or Aspirin. This is extremely poisonous to cats. 
  • Antifreeze. It tastes sweet but can cause fatal kidney damage. 
  • Chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous to a dog. 
  • Decaying Compost or Garbage. Dogs will scavenge the unthinkable. 
  • Prescription Medicines. What could be a normal dose for humans can be a megadose for our pets. 
  • Rat Poison. This can cause serious internal bleeding that may not show up for up to two weeks. 
  • Slug Bait (Metaldehyde). Even a small dose can cause drooling, shaking and seizures. 
  • Plants. Some household plants can be extremely dangerous to your pet if ingested, such as Holly and English Ivy, ask your vet for a list of poisonous houseplants.

If you suspect that your dog may have ingested something poisonous call your vet immediately and take these first aid steps:

  • If you know the source of the poisoning you've got a jump on what you're dealing with. Keep the container so you can better inform your vet of what your pet has ingested which will better help your vet assess the situation.
  • If you are advised by the vet to induce vomiting, and if your pet seems alert, take your pet to the kitchen or bathroom. Add ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide to ¼ cup water and gently administer 1 to 2 teaspoonfuls of this by mouth, using a syringe or child's medicine spoon. The pet should vomit within 5 minutes; if not, administer one more dose. Do not induce vomiting if the poison is unknown. Caustic poisons can do more damage coming back up.
  • Follow any additional advice from your vet, such as taking the animal in to be checked, or feeding your pet something to dilute the poison.

Finally, another good source is the National Animal Poison Hotline. This service is available 24-hours a day, staffed by veterinary professionals, toxicologists and pharmacologists who are dedicated to the healthcare needs of animals exposed to potentially hazardous substances. The hotline screens calls, accesses information about the suspected substance, tells the pet owner what necessary steps to take and is refereed to the nearest emergency clinic in the pet owner's area. Callers must pay a $35 consultation fee. To reach the Animal Poison Hotline call (888) 232-8870.

Until Next Time…                                                                                                                 


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